PLANS to build 11,000 new homes and create 7,200 jobs in Fenland are due to get the go ahead next week, when councillors give the final approval for the district’s new planning framework.

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The Core Strategy - that also includes major growth and large scale urban developments in Wisbech, March, Chatteris and Whittlesey - will replace the 20-year-old Local Plan, and is due to take the district through to 2031.

Councillors meeting on January 24 will be told that the new document is a flexible, criteria based document, to guide development rather than being prescriptive about where and when growth should occur.

The final document has been drawn up after an 18-month consultation period, and among the resulting changes included in the latest version are alterations to the council’s affordable housing police.

The new strategy will say that stand alone developments of up to four dwellings do not need to provide or contribute to affordable housing, and the proportion of affording housing requested from development site of 10 or more homes will be cut from 30 per cent to 25 per cent.

After a 569 petition was received by the council, protesting about proposed development of the Estover Road area of March, the new document says its primary purpose for being allocated is to “enable enhanced open space and play facilities” and highlights the need for transport assessments and a northern link road.

According to the new document, single dwelling infill developments will be permitted in more small settlements, and it highlights the need for a western link road before new phased development in West Wisbech is delivered.

If the core strategy is approved by the full council, it will be made available for public comment for six weeks, before it is submitted to the government for examination by a planning inspector.

Hearing sessions are likely to take place in September, before a final inspector’s report is issued in December.

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